The Mysterious Tadpole


Steven Kellogg


This site is intended for fourth graders.  Creators of the site are Amanda Cosaboom and Sarah Story.


    Steven Kellogg:  Steven Kellogg's first book appeared in 1967 and as of today he has more than one hundred to his credit.  Of these one hundred he wrote more than thirty Steven Kellogg is an illustrator as well as an author and so he works with other authors on their books along with doing his own.  He gets his ideas for his books from many different sources but most of them come from his feelings and images that he remembers from his childhood.     Steven Kellogg loves writing and illustrating books and believes that it is very important for parents and children to share books.  According to him, he tries "to blend illustrations and the words so that each book is a feast for the eye and ear. I want the time that the reader shares with me and my work to be an enjoyable experience -- one that will encourage a lifetime association with pictures, words, and books."






    The Mysterious Tadpole is the story of a young boy named Louis who gets a tadpole for his birthday from his strange Uncle McAllister who lived in Scotland.  He named his tadpole Alphonse and takes him to school to show him off.  Louis feeds Alphonse cheeseburgers and the tadpole grows and grows.  He outgrows his jar, the sink, and the bathtub.  His parents tell him that he can no longer stay in the house because he is too big.  Louis wants to buy the lot next to their apartment but they do not have the money and so Louis puts Alphonse in the junior high swimming pool in the summer but once school starts he has to find him a new home.  His friend, Miss Seevers the librarian, believes that Alphonse is not a tadpole but instead the Loch Ness monster.  Louis and Miss Stevens find a way to get the money to build a pool outside of Louis' home so that he can keep Alphonse. 








Prereading Activities

Activity One:  As a class we will discuss what a tadpole is and what makes a tadpole a tadpole.


Activity Two:  Each student will be given a tadpole to observe and care for. Visit these links to get tips on how to care for your tadpole:


Worksheet on Frog Lifecyle                                                            






During Reading Activities

Activity One:  The students will predict (in writing) and draw what they think Alphonse really is.


Activity Two:  Print and complete the Venn diagram comparing tadpoles and Alphonse.



After Reading Activities (Pick one of the following)

Activity One:  Research the Loch Ness Monster and compare what you find with what you know about Alphonse.  Write a one page essay on the similarities and differences between the Loch Ness Monster and Alphonse.  Some websites to check out include:


Activity Two:  Researchers are finding deformed frogs in the wild.  Why do you think they are deformed?  What is causing it?  Check out this website and research this interesting fact.  Get into groups of two and gather as much information on this as possible using any resource (as long as it is reputable).  You and your partner will present your findings to the class a week from the start date.




More information about tadpoles  Fun tadpole website

For more information on the current state of frogs


Creative Activities to do

Frog Puppet for students to make

Frog Bean Bag for students to make

Frog Pouch for students to make

Fun Activity

tadpole game- not very educational, but fun:


More books about tadpoles

Tadpole's Promise   by Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross (Illustrator)

The Teeny Weeny Tadpole by Sheridan Cain, Jack Tickle (Illustrator)

From Tadpole to Frog  by David Stewart

Tale of a Tadpole by Barbara Ann Porte, Annie Cannon


More books about the Loch Ness Monster

Beastly Tales: Yeti, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster by Malcolm Yorke

The Loch Ness Monster by Peggy J. Parks

The Loch Ness Monster by Terri Sievert

Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster by Richard Brassey